All of the biggest games to come out in the past two weeks have been distinctly American in their origins. BioShock Infinite wasn’t just made by one of the US’ most respected studios, it is very much about American history and the mythology that surrounds it. Then there’s Trion Worlds’ Defiance, a game as zany and fantastic as any Super Mario game (fantastic in the imaginary way, not the high quality way, that is. Until the game’s lived a little and the server issues calm down, the quality issue remains open to debate). It’s also a game that’s steeped in American lore, and it is set among the ruins of a partially terraformed Bay Area. It’s a good thing to have a sense of your homeland, and Digital Trends has paid no small amount of attention to these games, but like all diets, we crave balance. That’s why there’s Jetsetter.
Welcome back again to Jetsetter, Digital Trends’ weekly column exploring the games made and played in foreign lands, the glorious imports that you may not have stumbled upon in your regular haunting of Reddit threads. It’s a strange old world out there after all. Did you know in Korea you can play Angry Birds… on a SEGA GENESIS! Truth!
This week, we take a look at the first big release from one of Kenya’s only indie studios, a new fighter from one of Japan’s marquee fighting game artists, a long lost PSP game that may finally hit the international stage, and finally a major hit for the Wii U in the UK.
* Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate sells so well in Europe that Nintendo apologizes.
The Wii U’s sales have been dire in the first few months of the year, and its pantry of games makes old Mother Hubbard’s look bountiful. But it appears that one game on the system is finally getting a following: Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate – and not in the Monster Hunter stronghold of Japan, either. In Europe! “I’d like to apologize for the current stock shortage due to high demand of Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate at retail,” said Nintendo of Europe boss Satoru Shibata, “New Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate stock will hopefully be available in shops next week for Wii U and mid-April for Nintendo 3DS.” The game debuted at number 6 in the UK charts but shot down to 39th a week later because no one could buy the dang thing. Take note, Nintendo: People will buy Wii U games when you make them!
* A Street Fighter champion and the artist behind King of the Fighters make their own fighting game.
Kotani Tomoyuki isn’t a household name even amongst video game freaks, but any weirdoes obsessed with the fighters of Neo Geo-makers SNK will likely recognize his work. He was the character designer for King of the Fighters ’99 through 2002, as well as the wacky comedy fighter Matrimelee. Another developer, Umezono, is also not a household name, except to die hard Street Fighter III competition players, but these two have teamed up to design their own fighting game called Yatagarasu. The influence of both those old fighting series can be seen clearly in the vibrant 2D art and nutso combo-laden fighting. It has received distribution outside of Japan, from UK publisher Rice Digital, and you can download it here if you feel like dropping some foreign currency.
After no small amount of violence throughout the country as election results were settled, Kenya has a new president. Uhuru Kenyatta has, according to Kenya’s Supreme Court, been elected president in a “free, fair, transparent, and credible manner.” Not bad for a county whose last presidential election resulted in the deaths of around 1,200 citizens in riots and bombings caused by disputes over ballot tampering. University of Games, one of Kenya’s only indie developers, took on the subject in their very first platformer, Election Thief. It’s pretty simple. You’re just chasing a guy who’s stolen election ballots jumping from platform to platform. There are plenty of games like that on Android devices already, but few made by a studio in a wholly new development community. Check it out.
* Black Rock Shooter: The Game for PSP out in the US on April 26th.
Jetsetter is typically a space reserved for games that aren’t readily available by traditional means in the US. Black Rock Shooter: The Game, an action RPG for the PSP based on an anime of the same name, is coming out in Europe and the US via the PlayStation Network at the end of April. NIS America, regular purveyors of Japanese ephemera just like Black Rock Shooter, is putting out here at home. Why is it getting the Jetsetter nod? The game was supposed to come out in 2011! It’s a strange Japanese PSP game coming out in 2013. That’s the sort of thing Jetsetter lives for. Strangely enough, the game won’t get the full North America treatment according to Siliconera, as licensing issues are keeping it from coming out in Mexico and Canada.